However we did have a longing lesson this past Saturday which was awesome. I learned a lot about the application of my knowledge and the trainer even said I could start teaching people if I wanted since I knew the concepts, even if my own technique wasn't quite down. Ashe had both good canter, and a bad canter (where he likes to run backwards away from me) so the trainer go to see all about him.
He and I are doing much better at the halt, walk and trot and are focusing on his balance and relaxation while on the longe line (he was super tense and I learned some great relaxation techniques for him!)
I'm a bit worried about his saddle fit, (The cantle seems to be getting rather tight/low on him) however with the car being in and out of the shop every week this past month it's completely destroyed any budget I had saved for an evaluation session.
However tonight I had one of the best bonding moments with him that I've had in a long while.
Ashe started rubbing his tail again (I have a feeling this is going to be a winter thing with him) due to buildup of dirt and dandruff. Tonight wasn't too bad temperature wise, and he was already soaked from being out in the rain like the goof he is.
While I didn't use the hose (I brought hot water in bottles from home), we had one of the BEST washing tail times that we've had. He stood for me, and then, of all things... he almost fell asleep! That's right ladies and gentlemen, my horse, the water monster, the hater of all things that try to clean him, fell asleep while tied in the wash stall and I even spied licking and chewing while he relaxed.
This relaxation continued while we walked with towels draped all over ourselves to keep warm.
The best part about it all, was when he was doing some free running in the arena (which with him it's more like "I'm gonna walk over here and just stand and sniff the ground and then look at you like you're stupid to think I'm actually going to play") I walked up to him and asked him to walk with me, no halter, no rope, nothing. AND HE DID.
The cherry on top was when we stopped and he put his nose into my face and sighed and just relaxed there, breathing on me, for a good minute.
My boy, the always tense, always alert, always on guard... completely relaxed tonight with me.
And that moment... that moment of just the two of us standing there together... that has made this entire journey worth it. And I'm so thankful to own this amazing handsome boy.